Dear Mr. President, I set me down,
To send you greetings from my home town,
And send you best wishes from all the friends I know
In Texas, Alabama, Ohio,
And affiliated places. Brooklyn, Mississippi.

Iím an ordinary guy, worked most of my life,
Sometime Iíll settle down with my kids and wife,
And I like to see a movie or take a little drink.
I like being free to say what I think,
Sort of runs in the family...
My grandpa crossed the ocean for the same reason.

Now I hate Hitler and I can tell you why,
Heís caused lots of good folks to suffer and die.
Heís got a way of shoving folks around,
I figure itís about time we slapped him down,
Give him a dose of his own medicine...
Lead poisoning.

Now Mr. President, we havenít always agreed in the past, I know,
But that ainít at all important, now,
What is important is what we got to do,
We got to lick Mr. Hitler, and until we do,
Other things can wait,
In other words, first we got a skunk to skin.
War means overtime and higher prices,
But weíre all willing to make sacrifices,
Hell, Iíd even stop fighting with my mother-in-law,
ĎCause we need her too, to win the war...
Old battle axe.

Now as I think of our great land,
Of the cities and towns and farming land,
Thereís so many good people working every day,
I know it ainít perfect but it will be some day,
Just give us a little time.

This is the reason that I want to fight,
Not because everythingís perfect or everythingís right.
No. itís just the opposite... Iím fighting because I want
A better America with better laws,
And better homes and jobs and schools,
And no more Jim Crow and no more rules,
Like you canít ride on this train Ďcause youíre a Negro,
You canít live here Ďcause youíre a Jew
You canít work here Ďcause youíre a union man.

Thereís a line keeps running through my head,
I think it was something Joe Louis once said,
Said, "Thereís lots of things wrong,
But Hitler wonít help 'em."

Now Mr. President, youíre commander-in-chief of our armed forces,
Ships and planes, and the tanks and horses.
I guess you know best just where I can fight,
All I want to be is situated right...
To do the most damage.

I never was one to try and shirk,
And let the other fellow do all the work,
So when the time comes, Iíll be on hand,
And make good use of these two hands.
Quit playing this banjo around with the boys,
And exchange it for something that makes more noise.

So Mr. President, weíve got this one big job to do,
Thatís lick Mr. Hitler and when weíre through,
Let no one else ever take his place,
To trample down the human race.
So what I want is you to give me a gun,
So we can hurry up and get the job done.

Words by Pete Seeger (1942) Tune: traditional ("talking blues")
© 1993 by Stormking Music Inc.